We were assigned an analysis over the Winnebago Man film and how it used certain aspect of what we learned from a few youtube videos. Below is my analysis.
We all have issues, right? There is one man out there who became a youtube all-star due to his anger issues. This man’s name is Jack Rebney, but you might know him as the “Winnebago Man.” Rebney was a spokesperson for the Winnebago company, which specializes in things such as campers and RVs. Rebney’s anger issues and foul mouth got him famous, but then he disappeared. This caused a man by the name of Ben Steinbauer to go on a man hunt. This man hunt was recorded and thrown into the Winnebago Man film which was released in 2010. The film received great reviews and here are a few reasons why.
Story telling is an essential part of film. If the audience is unable to truly understand what is happening and the reason for then people tend to drift off. This film does a great job of informing the viewer that Rebney has practically vanished off of the face of the earth. Steinbauer hunts down Rebney’s associates and asks for stories about the original films. This part informs the viewer that people apparently hated working with Rebney. The Winnebago film crew continued to record even when they weren’t supposed to. This is how most of the original video was made.
Correctly putting multiple people on camera at the same time can be a hard thing to do. The film crew for this movie did a great job of not always focusing on one person at a time. When a documentary film is constantly someone sitting in a chair answering questions it can get very boring very quickly. On the other hand you wouldn’t want everything to be focused on a couple of people walking around. This film did a great job of balancing the two techniques to create a more entertaining film than most documentaries.
If I recall correctly, there weren’t very many “shot reverse shot” scenes. This technique would be very awkward to use in a documentary. The only time I have seen this type of shot used in a documentary would be when two people are sitting across from one another in a chair. The Winnebago Man film had a few scenes that could possibly be considered shot reverse shot. There is a scene in which Rebney is complaining about Dick Cheney, but Steinbauer want more than just politics. The two begin debating, and the camera occasionally jumps from one to the other. The camera view is never a close up in this scene though.
This film did use quite a bit of movement. There are multiple scenes in which Rebney is walking down a path, therefor your eyes follow him. Now that I think about it, most of the scenes have something moving. Whether it’s a dog or the wind blowing the tree branches in the background, something is constantly in motion. This technique makes the film more entertaining as well, even though we don’t notice it. If this film was shot in Rebney’s house while Steinbauer and Rebney sat on the couch and talked this movie would be pathetic. Thankfully this isn’t the case and the filmmakers did a great job of appealing the eye with subtle movements.
I don’t remember there being too many chairs in this film. I do believe instead of having a shot of a chair somewhere, they took a shot of a tree stump. That stump would later be used as a chair for Jack Rebney to sit on. There are multiple scenes in which Rebney is seen sitting on a tree stump either complaining or only answering questions. This film still used this idea of filming a chair, but changed it up a little bit. I believe they did this because Rebney practically lived in the wild. This shot of the tree stump makes total sense to me.
One thing that wasn’t covered in the four videos we watched was humor. This documentary did a great job of using humor to entertain the viewer. They used quite a few clips from the original Winnebago Man video, and many of these clips were repeated. The only thing that I didn’t like about this film is the repetition of the original clips. Some of them were played too often and got annoying. I believe all they needed to do to make this film better is use more of the original clips that were used less. There were a couple of clips that I don’t recall seeing until the last fifteen minutes of the film. I only remember seeing on clip twice throughout the whole movie, while there are other clips you see maybe six or seven times. If they would have evened it out a little bit more I think I would have enjoyed the film more.
Overall this film did a great job of using so many fundamental technique to filmmaking. This was one of the most entertaining documentaries I have watched. This film received great reviews, and I can understand why the reviews were so high. To be exact this film received a 90% on rotten tomatoes, which is a hard thing to accomplish. Overall Ben Steinbauer and his crew did a great job of creating a well-developed film, while Jack Rebney provided everyone with humor and joy.